Vrishabha Sankranti actually heralds the onset of the second month of the Hindu solar calendar. According to traditional Hindu calendar, the transit from Mesha rashi to Vrishabha rashi takes place during the Vrishabha Sankranti.
This movement finds correspondence of the sun moving from Aries to Taurus. The Vrishabha Sankranti falls in the month of Vaisakh according to the traditional Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and Telugu calendars; and according to the North Indian calendar it occurs in the month of Jaisthya.
This day is also known as Vrishabha Sankraman in the southern part of the country. This auspicious day also announces the arrival of the months of, Vaigasi Masam in Tamil calendar, Jyeshto mash in the Bengali calendar and Edavam masam in Malayalam calendar. Brusha sankranti is how it is celebrated in Odisha.
In 2019, the date for Vrishabha Sankranti is on May 15h, Wednesday.
Legend behind Vrishabha Sankranti
Vrishabha in Sanskrit means Bull. It can be generally observed that Nandi, Lord Shiva’s pet and carrier was a bull. The earlier religious scriptures have drawn analogy between the two and thus it has become an important ritual for Hindu devotees all over the world.
Rituals of Vrishabha Sankranti
It is considered to be extremely auspicious if someone gifts a cow or Godan in charity on Vrishabha Sankranti. Devotees after having an early ritual bath visit various Vishnu temples to pray to the Lord to grant them the wisdom so that they can choose between good and evil or the right and the wrong. Various holy places sees a surge of activities as having a Sankranti Snanam (holy dip bath) is said to be auspicious. Also on this day Pitra Tarpan (rituals to appease the departed ancestors) is also said to be very conducive. This day is also recommended for all kinds of Dan or Punya Karma (donations for charitable and philanthropic purposes).
Celebration of Brusha Sankranti in Odisha
Odisha celebrates the Vrishabha Sankranti day as the Brusha Sankranti. The day dawns with ritual baths taken in the sea or rivers. After this Sankraman Snan, which is carried out as a mark of respect to the departed elders of the house and out of respect to the Sun God, prayers are then offered to Lord Vishnu to seek his blessings. All the bathing ghats of Puri on the day of Sankraman are filled with people, who all later visit the Jagannath Temple to seek the divine blessings from Lord Vishnu.
Significance of Vrishabha Sankranti
Vrishabha Sankranti has great religious significance amongst the Hindus. It is a day meant for charity and punya activities. People seek the divine blessing from Lord Vishnu so that they become discerning to choose between the good and the evil and also so that they do not get trapped in the various entrapments of life. They pray to the God so that they can come out of the cycle of birth and death.